Transit officials yesterday rolled out the first in a line of 60 new hybrid diesel-electric buses that MBTA officials say line up with its environmental focus and need to replace the outdated fleet, but the vehicles also come with some other extra features – like a few more sets of eyes.
The forty-foot buses will feature on-board video recording and surveillance systems including “Live Look In,” which will allow Transit Police to remotely access and monitor bus activity.
Transit officials described the cameras as “increased safety and security features.” A large video monitor is also included behind the operator facing the passengers.
The first hybrid bus departed from Haymarket Station at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday.
MBTA General Manager Beverly Scott said the fully-accessible buses will have improved customer information systems, better lighting and greater reliability.
“These new hybrid buses will not only reduce emissions and improve gas mileage for the MBTA bus fleet, they will provide a more comfortable and secure experience for our customers,” said Scott.
The remaining 59 buses are expected to be delivered by the end of March.
Manufactured by New Flyer of America, Inc., the clean diesel engines and hybrid electric drive systems promise to reduce emissions and noise, increase fuel efficiency and improve brake life.
The new buses are expected to get about double the gas mileage as the T’s current buses.
Passenger Amenities include a seating capacity of 37, with two wheelchair locations, an easy to operate exterior bicycle rack capable of storing two bikes, high visibility LED destination signs, automated “next stop” voice announcements, and an automatic passenger counter system.